Kern County Raceway Park
|Location||13500 Raceway Boulevard, Bakersfield, California|
|Broke ground||February 2007|
|Opened||May 4, 2013 (track)
May 18, 2013 (races)
|Length||0.8 km (0.5 mi)|
Kern County Raceway Park is a 0.5-mile (0.80 km) oval speedway located on CA 43 (Enos Lane) just off Interstate 5 in Bakersfield, Kern County, California. The racetrack opened to the public for a Fan Appreciation Day on May 4, 2013, with the opening day for racing to happen on May 18, 2013. The new track has banks of 8° in the straightaways, with 14° paved corners. The track has 4,000 seats for fans, and room to expand to 15,000 seats for various events. It also contains 24 suites in the grandstand along with 18 concession stands. Kern County Raceway Park will hold events with NASCAR's Whelen All-American Series along with a K&N Pro Series West race beginning on October 26, 2013.
Kern County Raceway Park is a replacement for Mesa Marin Raceway, which opened in 1977, owned by Marion Collins, who owned the track during its entire existence. Like the current track, Mesa Marin was also 0.5-mile (0.80 km) long. The Collins family helped start the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (then-Craftsman SuperTruck Series) in 1995, and hosted eight races at the new track between 1995 and 2003. The track also hosted 45 races for the Winston West Series and for NASCAR's Southwest Tour until 2005. The last race was held at Mesa Marin on October 16, 2005, as the track was sold to a housing development to be constructed on the site.
|Location||Kern Canyon Road (CA 184), Bakersfield, California|
|Closed||October 16, 2005|
|Length||0.8 km (0.5 mi)|
Mesa Marin Raceway 
Many of its events were broadcast on television, including the 1995 Craftsman Truck Series race on ABC's Wide World of Sports, and also airing the NCTS on The Nashville Network and later ESPN, and featuring local races and both the NASCAR West Series and Southwest Tour (sanction of that tour changed to SRL in 2007) on Speed Channel and HDNet.
It ran NASCAR-sanctioned local racing, including the NASCAR Camping World Series West, United States Auto Club open-wheel racing, the NASCAR Southwest Tour, and other notable local racing. Nearly 4 million spectators attended Mesa Marin Raceway over the original track's 28-year lifetime.
Marion Collins announced on June 8, 2005 that he would sell Mesa Marin Raceway to a local developer, who wanted to build new houses on the site of the speedway, similar to the fates of Ontario Motor Speedway and Riverside International Raceway (now the city of Moreno Valley). Collins stated that he and his family wanted to change routes after 28 years of owning the track. The last races would be held at Mesa Marin in October, which included participation by NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick.
Role in Craftsman Truck Series formation 
Mesa Marin was critical to the formation of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Mesa Marin was the site for design, construction and testing of the prototype NASCAR Craftsman Trucks. Track owners son Gary Collins (a former racer) led the team of designers and fabricators who built the first truck.
Kern County Raceway Park 
The Collins family joined the DeStefani family in planning the new replacement half-mile D-oval. The track, located at the crossroads of Interstate 5 and State Route 43 (Enos Lane) along the Kern River, broke ground in February 2007.
The track features a progressively banked track, similar to its neighbor in the south, Irwindale Speedway, with a progressive banking starting at 12 degrees on the bottom and rising to 14 degrees at the top, with an uphill climb to the backstretch, ten feet higher than the pit straight for spectator visibility. Turns three and four will also be banked 12–14 degrees, and feature a ten-foot descent. A 1/8-mile dragstrip and a 1/4-mile infield oval are slated.
The track, to be completed in March 2013, will have its first NASCAR–sanctioned race on October 26, 2013, with the K&N Pro Series West. The track held a Fan Appreciation Day on May 4, 2013 and announced the first race to be held at Kern County Raceway Park will be a 100-lap Whelen All-American Series race on the main track. Bandoleros will compete that day on the 1⁄4 miles (0.40 km) track within the main course. Mini dwarf cars will also run on May 18, competing on the 1⁄8 miles (0.20 km) track.
See also 
- Griffith, Mike (February 21, 2012). "Kern County Raceway Park back on track". The Bakersfield Californian. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- "Kern County Raceway Park Hosts Fan Appreciation Day on Saturday" (Press release). Kern County Raceway Park. May 1, 2013. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- "About". Kern County Raceway Park. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Cree, Adam (April 17, 2013). "New NASCAR raceway debuts soon". The Renegade Rip. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Green, Kevin (December 8, 2012). "2013 K&N Pro West Schedule Announced". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
- Garcia, Victory (October 19, 2005). "Mesa Marin roars into history". The Renegade Rip. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- "Mesa Marin Raceway To Close". KERO-TV. June 8, 2005. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Glick, Shav (November 27, 1995). "California 500 Dreaming : It Was Fun While It Lasted at Ontario Motor Speedway (1970-1980)". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Soifer, Jerry (November 5, 2010). "Raceway Reunion to take its first lap". The Press-Enterprise. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- "Mesa Marin Raceway". Racing-Reference.com. Retrieved May 14, 2013.